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Calgary Stampede makes 'significant temporary staff reductions'

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 7:39 pm MDT

Following COVID-19 precautions, the Calgary Stampede has announced significant staff reductions. (PHOTO: Tom Ross, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Calgary Stampede is feeling the blow of COVID-19 and has reduced staff in response to the pandemic.

In Alberta, gatherings of more than 50 people have now been banned, making most Stampede activities next to impossible.

READ MORE: 23 new cases COVID-19 in Alberta

In a release, the Stampede announced they have made “significant temporary staff reductions”.

“These are certainly not decisions that we undertook lightly today,” said chief executive officer Warren Connell.

Roughly 80 percent of the workforce, 890 members, were let go. That’s 608 casual part-time employees and 282 regular part-time and full-time employees.

They said that the cuts and “dramatic measures” are being taken to preserve the Stampede itself and its future.

Normally, about 1,200 non-Stampede events take place during the year and generate 3 million visits.

“There have been no events occurring since restrictions have been put in place,” said Connell.

That makes sustainability an issue.

The Calgary Stampede expressed regret in the release and thanked everyone who had served to bring a “world-class” experience to the community.

As far as the Stampede itself, there has been no decision to cancel the event so far and they will continue to asses their ability to host Stampede 2020.

“We remain committed to working towards stampede 2020, but just like with the rest of our community, it comes with certain levels of uncertainty and change.”